Why Direct Mail Works in the Digital Age
Businesses now have a range of electronic communications channels, so has digital superseded printed mail? While email, text messaging and social media platforms provide compelling ways to interact with customers, direct mail still has a significant role to play. The key to successful communications is getting the right channel mix.
For the Love of Mail
There can be no doubt that people still value mail. The United States Postal Service delivered over 154 billion pieces of mail in FY 2016[i]. Direct mail commands recipients’ attention. In the US, 73% of households either read or scan promotional mail or advertisements. [ii]
Printed Mail Endures
Direct mail remains an important channel for reaching current and potential customers. Of course, digital communications provide many benefits – not least speed – but printed communications still carry weight. Studies have shown that 90% of people ages 25 to 34 find direct mail reliable, and 87% like receiving it. [ii]
These are compelling reasons to keep physical mail in the mix for customers of all ages. Despite being thought of as the digital generation, millennials are “digitally fatigued.” In fact, millennials are the demographic most receptive to physical mail which arrives through a far less cluttered channel, according to Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends. [iii]
Complementary Communications Channels
Ask yourself how your customers prefer to be contacted; better still, ask them! Think about how they respond and purchase and make sure your communications provide the right mix.
Technology has made staying connected easier and more convenient, but the way people react and respond to mail suggests that companies shouldn’t neglect traditional communications. The route to purchase is no longer linear and can involve multiple touchpoints. Make your integrated marketing strategy more effective by offering customers a choice over how they wish to be contacted and optimize communications for each channel.
[ii] Direct Mail vs. Social Media | Q&A Showdown,” Divvy, http://divvyonline.com/direct-mail-vs-social-media-20160115, January 15, 2016.
[iii] The Annual State of Marketing Communications Survey, Jan 2018 surveyed 4,000 consumers in North America and Western Europe, as reported by IWCO Direct
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